A new $5.3 million multi-purpose sports dome in Summerside, P.E.I., is scheduled to be complete by this coming December or January, officials say.
The dome is being built as part of the 2023 Canada Winter Games, being hosted in Prince Edward Island.
"Things change in this climate but we are hopeful we will stay on track," said J.P. Desrosiers, Summerside's director of community services, noting it's always possible to run into supply shortages due to COVID-19.
When complete, the 60,000 square foot structure will be the only indoor dome facility on P.E.I.
The dome will be supported by air, with a series of cables that anchor it. The pressure-heated air also protects the dome from ice and snow in the winter months.
Officials are anticipating turf will be installed later this month, with the dome brought to the site and inflated in late November.
"From that point there is a lot of interior work that has to get done," Desrosiers said. "Lights hung, you know, lines painted, all the finishing touches."
At the beginning of 2021, the town had hoped the dome would be open by November.
Will be open year-round
Desrosiers said the town has been speaking with other dome operators in the region who told him they wish they had included a space for parents and guardians while their children play sports.
"We've created a small fitness studio as well as sort of a lounge area for parents to hang out," he said. Those will be part of a welcome facility attached to the dome.
Desrosiers said it will serve the community and various sports beyond the 2023 Canada Games.
"We've had overwhelming interest from groups from all different sports — not just soccer but football, lacrosse, baseball, softball, pickleball, tennis, you name it they have been calling us wondering how they get into the facility," he said.
Right now officials are working on a schedule for the facility, Desrosiers said.
Some events looking at using Credit Union Place arena in Summerside may even move to the dome, he said.
Desrosiers said the hope is to get some sports played in the dome ahead of Games.
"It'll be running 12 months of the year, but obviously the focus will be getting people inside and participating in sport, a multitude of different sports, all winter long."
The initial cost of the project was $5.3 million. Desrosiers said the city contributed $1.6 million with the remainder of the cost split between the Canada Games as well as the provincial and federal governments.